Monday, February 13, 2012

What is heat pollution, what causes it and what are the dangers?

In most manufacturing processes a lot of heat originates that must be released into the environment, because it is waste heat. The cheapest way to do this is to withdraw nearby surface water, pass it through the plant, and return the heated water to the body of surface water. The heat that is released in the water has negative effects on all life in the receiving surface water. This is the kind of pollution that is commonly known as heat pollution or thermal pollution.

The warmer water decreases the solubility of oxygen in the water and it also causes water organisms to breathe faster. Many water organisms will then die from oxygen shortages, or they become more susceptible to diseases.